What kind of spell is Antonio Conte casting around Stamford Bridge? Twelve months ago Chelsea had 11 points from 12 games and sat 16th in the table, just three points outside the relegation zone. Now with Conte at the helm they are top of the league and haven’t dropped a point since the end of September. We’re not sure what kind of hocus pocus it is, but it’s certainly working. Even Victor Moses looks like a Premier League footballer now – and he’s a man who before this season had only averaged a Premier League goal every 10 hours in his career!
Arguably the most remarkable turnaround at Chelsea, is their form at the back. After 12 games last season they had conceded 23 goals. That’s an average of almost two every game, and only Bournemouth and Sunderland were leakier at the back. Yet this season they’re churning out clean sheets faster than the Shelbourne Hotel. Conte’s men have seven shut-outs already this year and Thibaut Courtois hasn’t had the trouble of picking the ball out of his net for nine hours and 50 minutes.
So how do you beat these fearsome beasts? And more importantly, do Spurs stand a chance?
Mauricio Pochettino’s men crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday night and roll into the London derby with just one win in their last nine matches in all competitions. Yet, Tottenham are still the only undefeated league side in the top five tiers of English football and can boast of the best defensive record in the top flight, conceding just eight times this year.
However that could all change against a Chelsea attack that is one of the deadliest in the Premier League with 27 goals – only Liverpool have scored more with 30. Diego Costa and Eden Hazard have already notched 17 strikes between them and Chelsea go into the derby with 17 goals in their last six games.
Chelsea are unsurprisingly favourites at 8/11, but they could conjure up a tasty 22/1 punt this evening. Tottenham have failed to score in six of their last 10 league appearances at Stamford Bridge, and with the best two defences in the league going toe-to-toe today we’re not expecting too many goals. Under 2.5 is an Evens shot, while Chelsea to win to nil might catch the eye at 15/8. The bet that could see us tripping the lights fandango this evening however is Hazard to score in a 1-0 win at 22/1.
The midfielder has already opened the scoring in three of Chelsea’s games this season and has found the onion bag in four of the last five games between the Blues and Tottenham. If he does it again and Chelsea pinch a 1-0 win a little bit of Paddy’s cash might just magic its way into our pockets tonight.